Russian youth professional strategies in the digital age and their representation in social media: the results of a comprehensive applied analysis
Keywords:Russian youth, social media, online network communication, professional adaptation, cybermetric analysis, cognitive mapping, discourse analysis
The study is focused on identifying the specifics of Russian youth social media communication on the topic of professional choice and adaptation as well as employment during the university studies. The design involves specific techniques employed at three levels of empirical analysis: (1) cyber metric analysis at the macro level (monitoring study of new media accounts by means of Kribrum social media analysis system; cybermetrics involving computer aided analysis of RuNet search queries reflecting youth interest in certain professions); (2) at the meso level - cognitive mapping of the most visible online communities considered relevant to the topic and embracing all types of online network subjects creating content about Russian youth’s professionalization; at the micro level — discourse analysis of the most informative publications reflecting the contexts in which youth professional culture is being formed. Applied analysis helps to identify the key actors in online network communication devoted to professional choice and youth employment, namely “individual users – consumers and creators of content on job search”, “potential employers”, “public organizations”, “bloggers”, “advertisers”, and “info business”.
Identification of digital flows according to types of sectors reveals the dominance of commercial sector in creating the publications about youth employment and career, as well as a lack of influential online communities run by government bodies. The authors conclude that the Russian youth has a pragmatic approach towards their job or side job; the tasks performed at work are of low subjective importance; hyper mobility is greatly appreciated (i.e. readiness to change job or place in life for a more beneficial job offer); work is perceived as a source of life risks and negative feelings. Young Russians interacting online are also oriented towards a job which does not require any special skills or experience. Comparison of the authors’ data and official statistical employment and unemployment figures reveals the relationship between youth interest in online specialty-based job search and a relatively high unemployment rate in the region (city), as well as between the unemployment level and young people’s social media setting to find a job in their field.
Acknowledgments. The article is based on the results of a study financed under the state task to the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation.